About The Beer

Brewery: 8 Wired – Warkworth
Style: NZ Red IPA
ABV: 8%
Standard Drinks: 2.5ish in a 340ml pour from a Brothers Beer

Hopcorn Rating

hopcorn rating 3

What They Say About It

In classic 8 Wired fashion not much was said of this brew except that it was very dry. Regardless I was still fizzing to get into a pint of this stuff. Hah. Fizzing.

What I Say About It

8 Wired is the absolute tits when it comes to consistently brewing absurdly tasty beers. So naturally I expected a hell of a lot when I heard that their first brew in their super high tech brewery was an iteration of one of my very favourite styles, the red IPA.

When I first tried this beer I was lounging in one of the worn down armchairs in Brothers Beer looking around at all the hipsters with their twirly moustaches and lumberjack shirts. I began grinning at my girlfriend with pure joy as I sniffed the amber, browny, fizzy joy I held in my hands. The nose held everything I had hopped it would; promises of a big sweet, chewy malt component, fruity hops as well as general happiness and contentment.

Upon first sip I was to find the nose didn’t quite match the taste of the beer. I could detect a smaller than usual hint of the sweetness I enjoy in red IPAs but mainly an intensely dry bitterness which lingered for perhaps a bit too long.

To be honest first impressions were that I’m not a big fan. After drinking a few to make sure I didn’t love it, I decided for my taste First Blood is simply to dry.

I have to tell you I’m actually kind of upset that I didn’t love this brew. I love 8 Wired and I’ve loved every beer they’ve ever made and I’m confused as to why I didn’t like this one. Am I getting too old for racy; ultra-hoppy slightly experimental brews? Is my grey hair seeping into my mind and making me like boring beers? I can tell this beer was brewed with skill and care however I think perhaps I just don’t appreciate the direction Soren went with it, as it doesn’t include the classic flavours I have come to expect and love from the style and instead went for something a bit outlandish and experimental. The malty sweetness and caramel, toffee roasty deliciousness is not the focus of this beer but rather a bone dry hoppy bitterness which feels a little unbalanced and may turn some people off. Regardless of what i thought this was 8 Wired’s first brew in their new premises in Warkworth and I’m sure it can only get better from here.

Anyway, despite this beer not quite ringing my bells I’m glad 8 Wired isn’t just resting on their laurels and churning out instantly accessible and likeable beers as if they were happy doing that we never would have been blessed with the insane Superconductor or the delectable barrel aged smoked imperial porter.

10 Words Or Less

Burnt caramel, slight sweetness but with unbalanced bitterness. Slightly disappointing.

Movie Match

Blade Runner; Harrison Ford and Ridley Scott’s futuristic masterpiece. This is a film that I never quite understood; although people raved about it and it saw massive critical acclaim. I think perhaps this beer will go down the same; everyone else will love it and I’ll just be there shrugging and not really getting what all the fuss is about. I encourage you to watch/drink these two together and see if you can unravel their subtle complexities to get to the bottom of why they are so well loved; and then get back to me and let me know.

Have you tried 8wireds’ First Blood? Like it? Love it? Hate its guts? Let me know in the comments I’d love someone to argue with.